The Eagles' offense regained one presumptive starter Friday but will have to wait on two more going into Sunday’s season opener at Washington.
Jalen Reagor made a quicker-than-expected recovery from a shoulder injury sustained during training camp and was not listed on Friday’s injury report. The first-round rookie wide receiver out of TCU was a full participant in practice each of the last two days after being limited earlier in the week. He was injured Aug. 30, trying to make a tackle after an interception during the team’s scrimmage at Lincoln Financial Field.
Right tackle Lane Johnson and running back Miles Sanders were limited in Friday’s practice, as they had been all week. The two starters are questionable going into the 1 p.m. game at FedEx Field, leaving the Eagles' offense with uncertainty at two major spots.
Johnson underwent ankle surgery last month to “clean up” a lingering ankle injury, a source said Friday. The 30-year-old was apparently dealing with some discomfort from the high-ankle sprain he suffered late last season when the Eagles began training camp.
If Johnson is unable to go, the Eagles will be without three of the starting offensive linemen they had expected to begin the season. Left tackle Andre Dillard tore his right biceps in training camp and right guard Brandon Brooks tore his left Achilles in the offseason. Jason Peters was originally signed to replace Brooks at right guard but is now filling in for Dillard at left tackle.
Matt Pryor, Nate Herbig, and Jack Driscoll have rotated reps with the first-team offense at right guard, but now Pryor might be called on to fill in at right tackle. Pryor played both tackle spots during training camp, as did Jordan Mailata. Driscoll, a fourth-round pick in last April’s draft, played right tackle in college and also could slot in for Johnson.
Regardless of who would step in, Johnson’s absence would change the Eagles' offensive line from a strength to a question mark against a Washington defensive line that features four first-round picks in the last four drafts.
“Obviously they have a very talented defensive line,” Eagles passing game coordinator Press Taylor said. “They do a great job putting pressure on you with their front seven, and then they do a great job on the back end, as well.”
Sanders has been limited this week after missing nearly all of training camp with a hamstring injury. The second-year running back out of Penn State has participated in the individual position drills.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson said before practice started that both players were doing well, but wouldn’t commit to whether they’d be available for Week 1.
“They are still day-to-day," Pederson said. “Obviously, we’ll get through today’s practice. You’ll know more after today’s practice, but they are both doing extremely well, and we’ll see here in the next couple of days.”
Pederson said earlier this week that Sanders might have a lightened workload even if he’s able to play Sunday, meaning Boston Scott could be in for extra carries.
Scott emerged as a complementary back to Sanders late last season with a capability to catch the ball out of the backfield. He averaged 37.8 rushing yards and 49.8 receiving yards in the final four games of the year and overtook Jordan Howard on the depth chart when the power runner returned from injury.
“I’m just prepared for whatever Doug wants me to do,” Scott said. “Whether that’s rotating, or to take on the workload, I’m ready for whatever he wants me to do."
The Eagles' defensive line will also be thinned due to injury, with tackle Javon Hargrave already ruled out and end Derek Barnett listed as questionable after being limited in practice all week.
Hargrave was the team’s big free-agency acquisition but has missed all of training camp and the first week of practice with the combination of a pectoral strain and a hamstring injury. The team signed him to a three-year contract worth up to $39 million last March.
Barnett has also missed all of training camp with a hamstring injury. The 2017 first-round pick has battled injuries for much of his career to this point, missing time with a rotator cuff injury in 2018 and an ankle injury in 2019.
When asked what’s holding Barnett back, Pederson said the team is being cautious with the 24-year-old.